Updated December 21, 2020
AFS was founded in 1947 out of a response to a global crisis by World War I and II American Field Service Ambulance Drivers. Responding quickly and with care in times of great need is in our DNA. AFSers are made for times like these.
No year has tested us more—we repatriated nearly 2,000 students and, as a result, faced unprecedented financial challenges. In true AFS spirit, volunteers, staff, supporters, and friends responded to the crisis by doing everything we could to move our mission forward.
As we navigate this pandemic, we are rebuilding and refocusing RIGHT NOW—not waiting until we can host and send students again.
Yet still, we were able to welcome 43 international students and send 45 Americans abroad on year programs—a remarkable feat and testament to the desire of US and international students to have these experiences.
In 2020, we launched innovative, virtual programs, some in partnership with the US Department of State sponsored programs. Quickly, it became clear that our innovation could—and would—impact thousands of lives in US communities—students, entire families, educators, volunteers, and others.
Like you, we look towards a brighter, post COVID-19 future and we have a new strategic plan in place. As we work towards becoming financially stable again, we will continue to innovate virtual learning opportunities, improve our technology, work differently with US educators and students, become a more diverse and inclusive organization, and engage our volunteers in new and needed ways.
As global citizens, we must continue to ‘walk together and talk together,’ and inspire more people to join us in creating a more just and peaceful world—like those featured in stories here.
We appreciate the ways you have reached out to us this year and hope we can continue to count on you as we work to rebuild. We thank you especially for sharing your stories and for your support.